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CCDC looks at possible expansion of urban renewal district around BHS, YMCA

Paddles Up Poke

The Capital City Development Corp. could expand its Westside urban renewal area. Such a move would allow it to spend tax increment financing proceeds for projects in and around the school properties.

Consultants will review a study area of about eight-to-12 blocks. It includes Boise High School, the Downtown Family YMCA, First Presbyterian Church, old Carnegie Library and various other parcels.

“We have an ability to create transformative projects,” CCDC Real Estate Development Manager Shellan Rodriguez said during a public meeting Monday. “We think having a larger footprint near some of the projects we have in the area can be an advantage.”

CCDC Westside expansion
The area in blue is part of a study area that could be added to the agency’s current urban renewal district on the west side of the downtown core.

YMCA looking at options

One group looking at a major project in the area is the Downtown Boise YMCA.

The YMCA began surveying its members last fall about potential ideas for expansion of its downtown facility.

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Future of Downtown
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“We asked about what kind of services would you like to see in downtown that you don’t have,” Treasure Valley YMCA Executive Director David Duro told BoiseDev last fall. “What we know is that the way that building is being used now is vastly different than in 1968.”

Duro said they want to ensure they are a long-term part of the Downtown Boise community.

“We are very interested in knowing how we can serve the community for the next 50 years or longer – do we do it out of the current asset or modify it or rebuilding.”

The CCDC Capital Improvement Plan has $11.6 million set aside for an unnamed “Westside transformative project.”

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Schools agreement

Last month, the agency, the City of Boise and the Boise School District agreed to give the school board a greater role in the creation of future districts.

The city is looking at ways to increase north-south transportation mobility for cyclists and pedestrians across the area that includes the BHS campus. Council members discussed that process during a recent city council meeting

Idaho State Code allows for an expansion of the boundary of an urban renewal area just once. It says the expansion area can not be “greater than ten percent of the existing revenue allocation area.”

CCDC’s Westside district expires in 2026. Rodriguez said the area has “quite a bit of revenue” remaining. The agency is considering spending $17,000 to study if adding the area aligns with Idaho law and is feasible. She said it is a five- to six-month process. If it moves forward it would need to be approved by CCDC’s board and the Boise City Council.

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Don Day
Don is the founder and editor of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow.

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